CCs Vying for $1M Prize, and Labor Market Data Will Play a Part

Published on Apr 26, 2011

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

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This week the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program made available a list of 120 eligible community colleges — from Northeast Alabama Community College to Walla Walla Community College — in the race for a $1 million prize. The award is aimed at recognizing a college that’s been successful implementing outstanding workforce and education models.

For the next round, which will narrow the 120 colleges to 10 finalists, applications must include data on completion rates, student learning outcomes … and the regional labor market, namely on employment and earnings, that EMSI specializes in.

From the Community College Times:

The selected colleges are now eligible to submit applications with detailed data on degree/certificate completion (including progress and transfer rates), labor market outcomes (employment and earnings) and student learning outcomes. They must demonstrate that they deliver exceptional student results, use data to drive decisions, and continually improve over time.Eight to ten finalists will be named in September. The Aspen Institute will conduct site visits to each of the finalists in the fall. In December, the panel will name a grand prize winner, which will receive an award of about $700,000. Two to three runners-up will also be named.

Several college researchers and advocates asked how the panel would verify data submitted by the eligible colleges. Prize organizers said they will review the provided data and hope to cull information from the site visits to help the panel make it decisions.

To find out how EMSI can help, email Rob Sentz (